Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #547: ziplock's NES Fist Of The North Star in 07:47.22

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Fist Of The North Star
Game version:
ROM filename: FistoftheNorthStar.nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 07:47.22
FrameCount: 28033
Re-record count: 3745
Author's real name: James Browne
Author's nickname: ziplock
Submitter: -ziplock-
Submitted at: 2005-02-13 12:51:28
Text last edited at: 2006-02-25 00:24:26
Text last edited by: Phil
Download: Download (7745 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
-FCE Ultra Emulation -No warps or passwords -Barely any programming error abuse -Damage to save time -No deaths or restarts

The gameplay is terrible, but at least it's on the faster side of many movies (under the 10 minute mark). Much like other titles from Toei animation (Puss 'N Boots), the engine is flawed in that the hero jumps faster than he walks, thus encouraging constant fighting off the ground, but fortunately, there's no accompanying sound, so it doesn't get obnoxious. It reminds me more of a more fluid Legend of Kage than a Puss 'N Boots.

The advantage to the game over many others in the genre is the way in which the hero is damaged. When hit by a projectile, it knocks the character many pixels more in one direction than he ordinarily could move, so with proper timing, taking a precise hit can shoot him forward a good distance. Unfortunately, because the screen needs to be centered before any forward action can be triggered (bosses, etc.), it doesn't do much good, apart from getting him past a cluster of enemies.

There are only a few things that make the movie difficult, the most prominent of which is the extraordinarily difficult bosses. Face shots take off more damage. A connected attack from the enemy will send the hero flying to the other side of the screen. As luck would have it, though, close proximity makes every character in the game retreat, so with good jump timing, it's simple to trap them in a corner, or simply jump and attack while they slowly back away. The first and second bosses have "sweet spots," where they can be backed into a corner by positioning the character properly, creating a loop of forward and reverse movements from the bosses with no follow-up attacks. After stage two, however, the difficulty increases and I couldn't find any such spots (especially on level 3). The only other option is to hide in the corner and wail away at an approaching enemy. This only proves effective if you can position yourself in the corner before the boss is triggered and infilct enough destructive power before your energy is withered away. I chose this route mainly for the sub-bosses of each stage, because the power level is completely filled upon their defeat, so no loss at all. The main bosses are simply too strong to attempt this. So, mostly it's getting close enough to maintain constant backward movement from the opponent while still keeping enough distance to be able to inflict damage (which you can't do if you're right on top of them), and even more not allowing them to attack (which will send you flying). Needless to say, there's a lot of improvising.

Another flaw is the platform design. When up is pressed and the player jumps, his footing position is established. If he goes below this position, he reverts back to the walking stance, as well as the slower walking stride. This makes falling or jumping off platforms very slow, so it's performed as little as possible and only as needs insisted.

There is a small glitch in design involving the holes in any ceiling. They can be scaled and you can walk and jump above the roof, but it's never practical because enemies are so easily avoided, and eventually, it only leads to the slow falling off platforms. I perform this only on level six and only once to show off a bit. It's only a couple of frames slower as a result and looks decent.

One last solid point of time-attacking this game is the multitude of dance moves you can make the hero perform. Because his attacks consist entirely of kicks and punches, complete with whiffing air sound bytes, and the number of different standing, walking, and jumping sprites are vast, "wobbling" and dancing can vary with every pause in the game (and there is one after every sub-boss and main boss). I tried to mix it up as much as possible, but I still didn't tap into all of my resources.

Hope you enjoy.

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